Wednesday, January 29, 2014

GTD + EN Tag Setup

Each note in EN has the potential of being tagged with 4 conditions: What? Where? When? and Who?
The debate will go on about weather to use notebooks or tags as part of your GTD system.  Not to be a fence sitter, but I have decided to use a combination of both. 

What
When I first look at a note, my mind puts things in categories.  What is this?  What pile does it belong in?  What does it mean?  When I first started using EN I made tags to sort out all of the "What?" questions.  After using EN for a while I decided that I wanted all of my notes for a particular subject grouped up into one notebook.  For example, my notes about my vacation were all over the place.  When I put them all in one notebook, it simplified things for me.  Now, I can go to that notebook and review all of the items associated with that subject.  Another thing that is good about using notebooks for your "What?" question is that when that vacation/project/idea is done, I can move the entire notebook under my "Archive" notebook group.  At the end of the year I simply go through my Archive group and decide what notebooks can be permanently deleted. 

Here are some examples of notebooks I have.  (I have dozens of them, so I won't list them all.  This is just to get you thinking)
Finances
House
Family
Church
Blog
Books
Vacation
Work Projects

Where
All of these tags start with @.  This is the traditional context tab that is in GTD. 
Here are some examples:
@Work
@computer
@home
@purchase
@call
@email
@church

When
These all start with !
The bottom three may look a bit strange to you die hard GTD people, but I include those tags because it helps me sort out those items during my daily and weekly reviews. 

Here is my whole list of tags:
!1-Now
!2-Next
!3-Soon
!4-Later
!5-Some day
!6-Waiting
!7-Sunday (some things need to be done on the next Sunday)
!Reference (used to exclude reference material when doing a saved search)
!Daily
!Weekly
!Monthly

Who
These all start with a . (period)
In this list I have the first names of people I work with most
.Wife
.Boss
.kids
etc.

How many tags does a note get?   Every note that I put in gets at least two.  They get a @Where, and they get a !When.  If it a note only applies to me, then I don't tag it with a .Who.

During my processing they also get moved from my inbox to the appropriate folder (What).  I'll cover more about processing in another blog.  

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